Rothermere American Institute roof works, commencing July 4th 2022

[UPDATE: The estimated end date for the roof works has been delayed, and is now estimated to be completed by February 2023 (subject to change). Read our most recent blog post for more information – updated 7th December 2022]

[UPDATE: The erection of the scaffolding has been delayed, and is now expected to be installed from the week commencing 18th July 2022. We apologise for any inconvenience – updated 11th July 2022] 

University Estates needs to undertake essential remedial work to the internal structure of the Rothermere American Institute (RAI) roof. It is estimated the work will take up to 22 weeks to complete: from w/c 4th July 2022 up to and including w/c 28th November 2022 (week 8 of Michaelmas Term) [Note: the estimated end date for the roof works has now been updated – see UPDATE at the top of the page.] The majority of the work is scheduled during the summer months to reduce the impact on as many readers as possible and we will work closely with University Estates to mitigate the level of disruption to library users. Access into the building will be maintained and signposted throughout the project and the VHL will remain open as advertised with normal library services in operation.

Noise levels should not be too disruptive in the w/c 4th July when the construction area will be set up and secured. Part of the preparations will involve moving the bicycle racks to the grassy area behind the Archaeology building, where they can still be used by VHL readers.

It is expected that scaffolding will be erected around the RAI building from Monday 18th July 2022. Noise levels from this work will be short term, intermittent and frequent throughout. [NOTE: the date of expected scaffold installation has been updated – see UPDATE at the top of the page] 

Please note that the VHL will continue to provide earplugs at the VHL enquiry desk.

We apologise for any inconvenience and disruption caused to our readers. We will aim to provide up to date information on expected works as soon as possible, in order to help readers to plan their research. We will continually meet with the contractors and University Estates to pass on any reader feedback, and work together to help reduce disruption whenever possible.

If you have any further questions about working in the Vere Harmsworth Library, please ask at the Information Desk, or email For further information about the works, email Bethan Davies, VHL Librarian at


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